Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Christmas Planner

It's all right, you don't need a fancy or expensive planner. Let it to the perfectionists out there, what you need is to have a place where you will plan your Christmas time, with all it has, in a calm way and early so you will not be overwhelmed.

Notice that I didn't name this post: How to make a Christmas Planner.
I really don't like when people, just posting about something they managed to make, name the post in a pompous way as if they were an authority about anything. It would be nicer just to say like that: How I did...(something) and not How to do... (something). Usually I don't read posts that begin that way. But that it's probably just me who does that and who doesn't mind to say it, not minding if I am stepping on some one's toes.

So, let's begin.

We just need a notepad or exercise book to write our plans on. And a pen or pencil. And maybe a rubber. And if you want to make it prettier you may want to have a ruler and nice colour pencils or pens. But that it's just if you want, not that you have to do it. It all depends on the personality of who is doing it, the time she has to spend on it and so on. So, don't be a perfectionist, which is never good, and be practical.

I will tell you how I do it and you will decide how you will do yours. Maybe you would like to take some ideas from mine or all or none. Each one of you are in charge of your own Planner.

I take an exercise book or some loose sheets and put it in a dossier, it depends on each year, I don't do always the same way. This year I didn't decide yet which way I will go but I think it will be the exercise book that I will have.
Anyway, in a place or in another, the most important is the content.

So let's think that it will be the exercise book that I will choose.

On the first page I will write, very proud of myself, Christmas Planner.

Then I will write the names of each one of my darlings to whom I will buy gifts, on the top of each page. Then I will write, in each line, real or imaginary one, what I have bought or what I will. Many times I have ideas in my mind, I write them and as I buy each one I put a tick in front of it.
Don't forget we must write the sizes of each person, either on the page of each person or on another where you put all together with the title Sizes.
On the back of each page I will write the amount I spent on each thing and I will keep adding each time I buy something.
When I bought already everything for that person I see how much I spent with her. Obviously I know, beforehand, which amount I plan to spend on that person. I always spend more with my girls than with any other person.

I count how many people I will buy presents for and, let's imagine, if I have twelve people, I count the same amount of pages, I write the names on top of each and I move to another section.

Now there is a page where I write what I'm spending in the whole, no matter with whom. I write : Spent in Presents.

Then on another page I write: Spent on Food. 

And on another: Spent On Other Things - meaning: not presents or food, just wrapping paper, bows, napkins and everything connected with Christmas.

Then it comes another part that I like very much: the list of things I will cook and bake and the ingredients I will buy. Each kind has a different page, one for food I will cook, another for the things I will bake. Another for the ingredients.

Then I make a calendar with days and hours of what I will need to do to have everything bought and done on time.
I began with One Month Before. Then I have another with Three Weeks Before. And so on. I will have one with 23 December. Another will have 24 December and another with 25 December. Also with the 26. If you are British or in any way related with them, you will have one with the 26: Boxing Day. If you are Portuguese you will have the 24 as a very special day too. It all depends on the culture of each person. 
On the pages for the days 24 and 25, I plan with times for each thing, like 7 o'clock or 6.30, depends, wake up to put the presents ready for being opened before Mass. At a certain time: get ready for Mass. And so on. This for the 25. For the 24 I write at what time I will begin peeling the potatoes for dinner, at what time I will make the soup and so on.
Each person knows what she has to do and must plan what time she begins to do each thing that will be eaten and when.

Another thing is that you may want to plan what you and the children will dress for Christmas and what needs to be done with that.
If you are traveling that time you need to plan the steps you will need to do for that.
And what about your self care ? To book the threading for your eyebrows ? Or the beautician who will wax your legs. The hairdresser ? That kind of things. And don't forget to write what you will pay for it in the section Spent On Other Things. Be careful, those are dangerous fields, plan ahead what you will spend on it and what are the prices before doing it.

I think by now you know the idea. 
The first step is to have your materials ready and to think what you will need to do for Christmas and to write all of that. Never mind if it doesn't end as a work of art, the important is to get organized so you will have peace all this time till Christmas - and after.
It's very important that you keep track of your expenses ! Be careful with that.

Add also a page in the end of everything to write anything about Christmas after it is gone, maybe it will be useful on the next one. Maybe something you will want to improve or just something like: thanks God, it all went so well. Praise the Lord!

And now let's begin with the first step: to think what to do, which materials to choose and what needs to be done. Just as thoughts, let your mind wonder. 
Next step is to take action. Don't procrastinate, please take action, you will feel so much better, you will feel happy with yourself. You can do it, just begin and everything will be in the right place.
Take something to write your ideas and plans. And write. Just do it. 
You will be really happy with it.

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